Security in Iowa’s prison system could be tested by $35.7 million in budget cuts proposed Wednesday that would result in 515 layoffs in the Iowa Department of Corrections, reports the Des Moines Register. The employees would lose their jobs in nine state prisons and in community corrections programs that monitor inmates on parole, probation and in work-release programs. An additional 262 vacant jobs would be eliminated.
The department is normally authorized to have 4,200 employees who oversee 8,400 prisoners and about 30,000 offenders in Iowa’s communities. Corrections Director John Baldwin said he would search for ways to reduce the number of layoffs. He said he hasn’t considered closing any prisons or consolidating units even though inmate population has dropped in recent years.